Tirukural – Chapter 108

Chapter 108: Baseness

Verse 1078
Above, a man has been informed of a community need and requires no further convincing. His generous heart immediately offers handfuls of money to those who have requested his help. Below, another man has been approached by a beggar who had to cajole, threaten, explain and otherwise entertain the man, who even then offers but a single coin, for he does not understand the worthiness of generosity.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver’s Wisdom

Verse 1071

Outwardly, vile men resemble human beings.
We have never witnessed such a remarkable likeness.

Verse 1072

The low-minded are happier than men who know goodness,
for they are never troubled by the pangs of conscience.

Verse 1073

Wicked rogues resemble the Gods,
for they, too, live doing whatever they want.

Verse 1074

When a vile man meets a wicked one, he will outdo him
in his vices and pride himself on the achievement.

Verse 1075

Fear is the primary force motivating base men.
Besides that, the desire for gain may motivate them–a little.

Verse 1076

Base men are like a bass drum, sounding off
to others every secret they happen to hear.

Verse 1077

Some men are too crude to even shake the water off their just-washed
hands, except for those who could break their jaw with a fist.

Verse 1078

Worthy men yield their gifts when told of a need, but like sugarcane,
base men give only when crushed and squeezed.

Verse 1079

Let a base man behold others dressing and dining well,
and instantly their faults are all that he can see.

Verse 1080

Is there anything for which lowly men are suited? Well,
when crises come, they are the first to offer themselves for sale!

New Art from an Indian Master

Suresh Mutthukiulam of Kerala sent this canvas recently, commissioned by us to adorn Bodhinatha's Yoga Sutras to be printed next year. We thought you might like a previews. In this unusual piece, Suresh creatively describes eight siddhis, powers, that a yogi naturally attains (and is encouraged to renounce). There are 25 in Patanjali's text, but these are the famous ones. Read the captions in the slideshow for a deeper immersion into the powers.

Tirukural – Chapter 107

Chapter 107: Dread of Begging

Verse 1065
A toy maker has labored in the sun all day to produce small wooden toys for the market. He takes a break when his wife brings a simple bowl of sweet rice for his lunch. Though it is not a feast, he finds it enormously enjoyable.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver's Wisdom

Verse 1061

It is ten million times better not to beg, even from those
precious men whose joy is giving and who thus never refuse.

Verse 1062

Were it the World-Creator's wish for men to live by begging,
men might wish that He, too, die a wandering beggar.

Verse 1063

There is no greater foolhardiness than to say,
"I shall end the pains of poverty by begging."

Verse 1064

This entire world is too small to contain the dignity of men
who will not stoop to beg, even in the direst destitution.

Verse 1065

Though it is only gruel, thin as water, nothing is more savory
than food that is earned by the labor of one's own hands.

Verse 1066

The tongue finds nothing more distasteful than begging,
even just to beg drinking water for a cow.

Verse 1067

This I beg of all beggars:
"If you must beg, beg not from misers."

Verse 1068

The unsturdy ship called begging will break apart
the moment it crashes against the rock of refusal.

Verse 1069

Thoughts of a beggar's plight melt the heart.
Thoughts of refusals he receives crush it completely.

Verse 1070

Having said "no" to a beggar, knowing it might kill the poor man,
where is a miser going to hide from his word?

Natchintanai – 73 Spiritual Songs! Now in Unicode!

A book of Natchintanai by Siva Yogaswami: Seventy-three songs full of the wisdom of the Sanatana Dharma and the enlightened vision of one of the most evolved siddha yogis of modern times, Siva Yogaswami.

Since 2009, Natchintanai - 73 Spiritual Songs was available with MylaiSri text for the Tamil. It was not possible to put it online, because that Tamil font would have rendered as gibberish. But now that Tamil has been re-entered in Arial Unicode! Now that it is in unicode, it can be copied and pasted across any web platform or in your email. The publication is also available in the EPUB:



This song book is dedicated to Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, affectionately known as Gurudeva. He gave us these instructions regarding the heritage of songs from his guru, Siva Yogaswami of Jaffna, Sri Lanka:

"All my followers shall revere as sacred scripture the songs of Sage Yogaswami, called Natchintanai, which entirely embody the teachings of our lineage and command one and all to 'Know thy Self by thy self.' Aum.

They and my noble mathavasis all follow the path of service so vigorously hailed by Asan (spiritual master) Yogaswami in his many Natchintanai hymns which embody our philosophy."

Tirukural – Chapter 106

Chapter 106: Begging

Verse 1057
At the bottom of the painting a man and his wife are traveling through the town in their bullock cart. They are smiling and taking great joy in seeing that the suffering of others is being relieved by generous people who, like themselves, give coins to the poor, clothes to the indigent and food to the hungry.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver's Wisdom

Verse 1051

If you meet a man of means, by all means beg his help.
If he refuses, the fault is his, not yours.

Verse 1052

Even begging can prove pleasurable
when what is begged for comes with no sense of burden.

Verse 1053

Begging has its own beauty when one supplicates
before dutiful men whose hearts never say no.

Verse 1054

There are men who never deny a request, even in their dreams.
Begging from them is the same as giving.

Verse 1055

Because men do exist on Earth who never begrudge giving,
others dare to plead their needs before men's gaze.

Verse 1056

The miseries of begging will flee at the mere sight
of those who are free from refusal's miserable manners.

Verse 1057

A jubilant heart rejoices upon seeing
those who give without scoffing or scorning.

Verse 1058

Deprived of beggars, this vast and verdant Earth would
become uncharitable, a ball for the play of wooden puppets.

Verse 1059

What glory would generous men enjoy
if there were none to beg for and receive their gifts?

Verse 1060

One who begs and is refused should not be angry,
for his own poverty is sufficient proof of giving's limits.

Tirukural – Chapter 105

Chapter 105: Poverty

Verse 1042
A beggar is walking along the street, hoping that some generous person will place food in his bowl. Behind him is the demon called poverty, whose sharp blades have severed the man’s smile and torn at his clothes. His penury has deprived him of every happiness.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver's Wisdom

Verse 1041

Ask what is more miserable than being poor,
and the answer comes--only poverty pains like poverty.

Verse 1042

Poverty, the cruelest of demons, deprives a man
of every joy in this life, then takes them from the next life.

Verse 1043

Craving, another name for poverty, will obliterate at once
ancestral honor and dignity of speech.

Verse 1044

Privation produces unmindfulness, which gives birth
to improper words, even in men of proper birth.

Verse 1045

Poverty is that single sorrow which
gives rise to a multitude of miseries.

Verse 1046

Even when the poor perceive profoundly and speak skillfully,
their most meaningful words are always forgotten.

Verse 1047

He who is impoverished and estranged from virtue will be
regarded as a stranger even by his own mother.

Verse 1048

Will the wretched poverty that nearly
killed me yesterday come again today?

Verse 1049

Men may slumber even in the midst of fire,
but none can find repose in the midst of poverty.

Verse 1050

Lacking a morsel of food, a man may either
slay every desire or kill off his neighbor's salt and rice broth.

Tirukural – Chapter 104

Chapter 104: Farming

Verse 1032
Here a strong farmer holds his plow as his cows help him till the ground. He is growing crops that feed his village. Such farmers support the entire the world so that others do not have to work so hard.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver's Wisdom

Verse 1031

Wherever it may wander, the world follows the farmer's plow.
Thus despite all its hardships, farming is the foremost occupation.

Verse 1032

Farmers are the linchpin of the world, for they support all
who take up other work, not having the strength to plow.

Verse 1033

Those who live by the plow live in self-sufficiency.
All others lean on them to simply subsist.

Verse 1034

Those whose fields lie shaded by abundant sheaves of grain
will see many nations overshadowed by their own.

Verse 1035

Those who eat food harvested with their own hands
will never beg and never refuse a beggar's outstretched palm.

Verse 1036

When plowers of the fields stand idly with folded arms,
even desireless ascetics will not last long.

Verse 1037

If soil is dried so that one ounce shrinks to one-quarter ounce,
fruitful yields will not require a single handful of fertilizer.

Verse 1038

It is better to fertilize than to furrow a field. After weeding,
it is more important to watch over a field than even to water it.

Verse 1039

If the lord of the land fails to visit his fields,
they will sulk as surely as a neglected wife.

Verse 1040

Mother Earth laughs when she sees
lazy men crying, "We are so poor."

Sivathondu at Kauai Aadheenam

When noble souls pilgrimage to the Aadheenam, they pack, along with their great love of God and guru, their lifetime toolbox of skills and knowledge. Often they want to help the Satguru's global mission, and such is the case with Madan Ganesh Velayudham who was here for ten days recently. Of course, his first priority was his sadhanas and spiritual progress. But he also has immense skills in the digital universe, and worked with the Ganapati Kulam, bringing a high-end expertise we seldom have access to. Then, before flying back to his home in Bengaluru, he set forth some plans to enhance the monastery websites, improve and promote our apps, translate Tamil texts and more. Mikka nandri, Madan. And thank you family--Sumathi, Oviaa and Guru Saasta--for letting you venture to the other side of the planet.

Tirukural – Chapter 103

Chapter 103: Advancing the Community

Verse 1021
We see a man in several scenes as he works industriously through the day. Clearly he is laboring with all of his heart to advance himself, his family and his community. He awakens to worship Lord Ganesha; then bathes, then feeds and milks the cows, then plows his fields. In the late afternoon he kneels to worship before a temple, and finally sleeps deeply, having exerted himself productively all day long.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver's Wisdom

Verse 1021

No greater dignity exists than when a man resolutely declares,
"I will never cease in laboring to fulfill my karmas."

Verse 1022

One prolongs his clan by prolonged exertion in
both perseverance and sound understanding.

Verse 1023

When a man vows to advance his community,
God Himself will wrap His robes and lead the way.

Verse 1024

When a man's effort to raise his community high is unremitting,
his work will prosper on its own, even if he makes no plans.

Verse 1025

The world will surround and befriend him
who, without fault, lives to advance his community.

Verse 1026

It is said that true manliness consists in becoming
head and provider of the clan one was born into.

Verse 1027

As on a battlefield the burden falls upon the brave,
in the community weight is carried by the most competent.

Verse 1028

Those seeking to improve their clan await no season,
for delays and undue regard for dignity will destroy it.

Verse 1029

When a man shields his family from every suffering,
doesn't his body become a vessel filled with their afflictions?

Verse 1030

Without good men to hold it up, the family home will fall
the moment misfortune's axe comes down.

Tirukural – Chapter 102

Chapter 102: Possession of Modesty

Verse 1015
A man stands handcuffed before a judge who is deciding his fate.A friend in the foreground is waiting for the judgment, sad because he sympathizes with his friend’s sorrowful situation. A Goddess places her hand on the friend’s head, honoring his modesty and compassion.

TAKA Presents the Tirukural

You can access the entire text, in Tamil and English here:
Weaver's Wisdom

Verse 1011

For fair-faced maidens, modesty means bashfulness,
but the deeper modesty shies away from shameful karmas.

Verse 1012

Food, clothing and such do not differ much among people;
what distinguishes good men from others is modesty.

Verse 1013

All life clings to a body;
perfect goodness clings to all that is modest.

Verse 1014

Is not modesty a jewel adorning perfect men?
Without it, is not their strut an awful blemish to behold?

Verse 1015

The world decrees that men who are as ashamed
by others' disgrace as by their own are modesty's fondest home.

Verse 1016

The great would rather hold themselves behind
modesty's barricade than breach it to acquire the vast world.

Verse 1017

Those who prize unpretentiousness will forsake life to preserve it.
But they never forsake modesty for the sake of life.

Verse 1018

If a man does not feel ashamed of what makes others feel ashamed,
virtue itself will be ashamed of him.

Verse 1019

Failing to observe good conduct, one sets his family on fire.
Living in shamelessness, he incinerates everything good.

Verse 1020

The movements of men devoid of modesty mock life,
like wooden puppets suspended on a string.

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